Author: Zack Furness
Zack Furness is a Communications professor at Penn State Greater Allegheny and the author and editor of several books, including One Less Car, Punkademics, and The NFL: Critical and Cultural Perspectives. He spent the better part of two decades playing in punk bands and was a 2018-2019 Visiting Scholar in the Music Department at the University of Pittsburgh.

Like millions of people around the world, I follow troves of bands online and frequently purchase music from Bandcamp, mostly punk and hardcore records. (More…)

I grew up in football house. A lot of Americans say that as a way of conveying their family’s love for the game, but I mean it more literally. My dad played for ten years in the NFL, most of it for Pittsburgh Steelers, where he was part of a team that won four Super Bowl rings. (More…)

Two years ago, I wrote a piece for Souciant about the end of a well-intentioned but otherwise disastrous experiment carried out by the Wu-Tang Clan. At that time, the world renowned rap group was poised to buck virtually every commercial trend in the history of the music industry by releasing just one copy of its top-secret double album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. (More…)

Running a record label is a pain in the ass. It always begins with the best of intentions that reside somewhere in the mix of DIY ethics, wanting to support your friends, and simply trying to release your band’s arguably mediocre record when nobody else will do it. (More…)

Larry Livermore is responsible for getting a lot of great songs stuck in my head. Years before I played my first punk show, I memorized choruses on mixtapes gifted from my skater friends, which included tracks from Green Day, Operation Ivy, Crimpshrine and various other bands I had never seen, but would eventually come to know as part of Livermore’s record label. (More…)

Last year, the world was treated to an unexpected announcement from one of the most famous acts in hip hop. The Wu-Tang Clan revealed that it had secretly recorded a massive 31-track album that supposedly brought the band back to its roots and the raw, rugged, ominous sounds that made its debut, Enter the 36 Chambers, an instant classic upon its release in 1993. (More…)

One of the benefits of living in a small-ish city like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is that I frequently run across people I actually want to see, like my old friend Shaun Slifer, one of the area’s many multi-talented and underappreciated artists, as well as a longtime champion of the underdog. Enthusiastic as always, he told me about a project he had been working on called the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum. (More…)

David Graeber is unlikely to get a fair shake.  Despite publishing respectable works in anthropology, as well as a lauded tome on debt, his newest book, The Democracy Project, offers an insightful analysis of democracy and the Occupy Wall Street protests through the eyes of a self-identified anarchist. For many, this will be a hard pill to swallow. (More…)

For someone who grew up in an athletic family, I have a hard time paying attention to sports. It’s not so much the games as it is the process of navigating the spectacular cultural industry that surrounds them. (More…)

Hunting for a sassy-looking sweatshirt, I stumbled across Cabela’s online frontier of testosterone. For those unfamiliar with the outfitter, the site doesn’t do justice to the consumer stadiums that CEO, Richard N. Cabela, has erected. However, it’s still a place where you can obtain all the necessary accoutrements for an Elk grinding session, or going ‘deep cover’ in the no-man’s land between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. (More…)